An incentive program that makes it more affordable for almond and walnut producers to implement low-dust harvesting equipment has more than doubled. The Almond Board of California added that growers don’t need to purchase the equipment to take advantage of the incentive.
From the Almond Board of California:
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has raised its rate of financial incentives to purchase low-dust harvest equipment to $37.50 per acre, up from last year’s rate of $10.52 per acre. As with the previous year, the NRCS is offering up to three years of financial incentives through its Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to almond and walnut growers who adopt harvest equipment shown to reduce particulate matter (dust).
The incentive payments apply whether growers purchase qualified equipment, rent the equipment or hire a custom operator who uses qualified equipment.
Eligible equipment is limited to specific harvesters proven through peer-reviewed demonstration trials at Texas A&M to reduce particulate matter by at least 30%. Trials were supported by a USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) and the San Joaquin Valley Air District, and build on years of Almond Board-funded research on reducing dust emissions at harvest. The Almond Hullers and Processors Association (now Almond Alliance) worked closely with NRCS to develop this funding opportunity.